5 hacks for your weekly grocery shop

  • March 8, 2022

Save your food budget from blowing out with these helpful tricks.

According to a recent article by Canstar, Australians spend almost $300 million a month on food, with Aussie households paying an average $153 on groceries each week. So how can we cut down the growing grocery bill without sacrificing the food we love? Here are our top five strategies for bringing that number down and eating your way to a healthier food budget.

  • 1. Shop your pantry first

    Sometimes we actually have the ingredients for a range of delicious meals already hidden away in the fridge, freezer or pantry – we’ve just forgotten they’re there. Other times we’re not even aware that our leftover ingredients could actually be the start of our next favourite recipe. Try to take a look through the shelves and drawers before your next visit to the shops. Have a few random ingredients on hand? Google them and see if there are any recipes you can create using what you have. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  • 2. Try to steer clear of recipes that require special ingredients

    Ever notice how that one ingredient you desperately need is also the one that happens to be $10 or more? Where possible, try to avoid these items, particularly if the meal you’re cooking is a one-off and doesn’t allow for leftovers. If you’re only going to use the ingredient once, ask yourself whether it’s really worth it. If you can’t part with the idea of the item in question, consider whether there are other meals you can make with it, too. Otherwise, why not Google a cheaper substitute?

  • 3. Create a weekly or fortnightly meal plan

    It might seem like a bit of work in advance, but trust us, it’ll pay off in the end. When we have a plan and a set list of items, we’re much less likely to be tempted at the shops by impulse purchases or sneaky product placement. Don’t forget – most stores are designed to capture your attention, which is why so many ‘popular’ items are placed at eye level.

    Instead, why not simply craft your list and try your hardest to stick to it. There’s nothing worse than buying food that goes to waste or sits in the cupboard never being used. Where possible, try to include seasonal items in your meal plan. Not only are they tastier, they’re cheaper too. Stuck for motivation? There are a range of shopping list apps that might be able to help and will also allow you to price check against other stores or see what’s on offer via any rewards program you may be part of.

  • 4. Set a grocery budget for yourself

    Setting a limit on how much you want to spend at the shops will help guide you in the right direction. To get started, simply track how much you spent in the last month on food. If that number is too high, start planning your week-to-week food allowance – just make sure it’s realistic. When it comes time to visit the shops, try to go alone as there won’t be anyone else with you to persuade you to veer from your list or budget.

  • 5. Try a ‘going, going, gone’ basket

    This fun little idea can be a real lifesaver when you want to use the ingredients or items in the fridge that are about to be out of date. Grab yourself a basket that you can pop in the fridge – ideally in a colour that will stand out. Once you’ve got your basket in place, fill it with all the items that are near their use by date and that must be used in a meal before they end up in the bin. This will help you use all your ingredients before your next shop and save you money on meals along the way.

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